Kennel: Circa 1987

You imagined it clean, orderly, brightly lit; rooms full of yelping puppies, purring kittens and even, perhaps, chirping birds.  They all plead for your attention.  You hold the keys to their sustenance and to their freedom.  At home, no one needs you; for practically all intents and purposes, you are invisible; your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, the goldfish, they pass right through you--unless you fail to take out the garbage or forget to wash the dishes or inadvertently leave the toilet seat up.  

But, here, amongst all the furry quadrupeds, you are in the spotlight, you are the star of the show.  Some of them would like nothing more than to curl up in your lap for a nap.  They even want to lick your face!  Here, the spotless linoleum aisle that cuts through the stretch of stacked cages is your Red Carpet; every woof, every meow, every tweet is, essentially, an audible camera flashing in your direction; every growl, every whine, every squawk is but a pesky “TMZ” inquiry.  That’s how you imagined it.

It’s cavernous and it always reeks of urine is how it really is.  The walls are damp-sand brown.  The bulbs that haven’t burned out yet are so dim, you have to squint everywhere you go.  This is not how you imagined it.  And with indignant utterances, inculpatory glares, all these bordered pets blame you for their imprisonment.  Their beloved masters would never have had them confined like this--ergo, it must be your fault.  

What do pets know about minimum wage jobs, anyway?  What do they care?  They don’t care.  They poop just to watch you clean it up.  It passes the time.  And here you imagined that this would be more fun than flipping burgers.

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